LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – More than 50 counterfeit credit cards were discovered after a detective's credit card number was stolen.
A detective working on a skimming investigation noticed his personal credit card number had been used multiple times at gas stations to purchase diesel fuel, according to an arrest report.
Detective Jonah Kiper said it was his partners person credit card that was compromised.
"It was an LMPD officer that actually started all this. He had his credit card information compromised and we were able to get some really good surveillance video," said Detective Kiper.
Ultimately, the pair were able to track down surveillance video at Thortons that showed a Chevy truck purchasing the fuel to fill a concealed fuel tank in the bed of the truck.
On Aug. 16 officers saw the truck, driven by Noslen Hernandez Guerra. The vehicle was searched in connection to a separate skimming investigation. While searching the truck, officers found 12 re-encoded credit cards concealed in a trim piece under the glove box – including the card number belonging to the detective. Officers believe Guerra was using the stolen cards to purchase large quantities of diesel and sell it on the black market.
Detective Kiper says the technology to steal your card numbers is getting more advanced, more accessible and cheaper to purchase online.
"Skimming is going on inside the gas pumps. You'll never even see it," said Det. Kiper. "The skimmer is actually attached to the back of the card reader.
Then, criminals gain access to the back of the card reader by using a universal key.
"So, some of these smaller gas stations you might have one key, it might fit a station here in Louisville, another one in Tennessee and another one in Florida," said Det. Kiper. Kiper said it's best to stick to larger chains when purchasing gas.
An additional search was conducted at Hernandez Guerra's home where officers found an additional 48 cards that had either been re-encoded with stolen credit card numbers or were blank with various financial institutions printed on them. Officers also found a device to embed numbers on cards, an embossing device, a foil label machine used to cover the letting on cards, approximately $8,000 in cash and fake Ohio identification cards.
Hernandez Guerra was booked into Louisville Metro Department of Corrections and charged with false making or embossing credit card, use of scan device, trafficking financial information, unauthorized production of a credit card and criminal possession of a forged instrument.
Hernandez Guerra is currently on federal probation for related offenses out of Miami.